Maria In The Shower on a Friday Night…

    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when Maria In The Shower joined us this past Friday.  I had seen videos, I listened to their myspace, and I had checked out their bio, so I had an idea of what they were about as a band – but the puzzle wasn’t really complete until I saw them perform.  Maria In The Shower seems to have one goal in mind behind everything they put into their live show;  the outfits, the stage visuals (I say visuals because I feel that “props” has an unfair ‘Gwar’ connotation), the energy, the music, & even the stage banter are all driving towards one key concept: showmanship.  
    I’m not sure exactly how to convey the ‘Maria In The Shower’ recipe in words.  I think it would start with “the Looney Tunes doing an American crooner sketch” but adapted for a slightly more mature audience.  It’s tough to stick the music in a specific genre, but if I was going to I would put it like this:  theatrical roots with tendencies toward blues, ballads, & 1940’s American pop.  The reason the variety in genres works for them is because they make it work for them.  Everything is tied together by an unflinching commitment to the ‘Maria In The Shower’ entity.  There’s a certain tongue-in-cheek, dark sense of humor behind the whole act.  
   You, The Streaming Cafe Blog reader, may find it shocking to find that I am actually most passionate about hardcore & metalcore music.  I write it more then any other genre, I listen to it more then any other genre, & I’ve been influenced by it more then any other genre.  I was drawn into that genre by loud high-energy shows where the band pours all of its energy into the music.  In some ways, ‘Maria In The Shower’ brought me back to that same high-energy draw.  It might not have the same raw power as the heavier genres, but for having an acoustic guitar, an accordion, & a trumpet as lead instruments, these guys keep the energy high throughout the whole night.  The end result is one very entertaining show, so keep your eye out for ‘Maria In The Shower’ ‘cause it’s definitely worth your while.



Maria In The Shower is touring in the coming months, so be on the lookout!

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Adaline!

  On March 6th we hosted one of Canada’s up-and-coming bright young stars, Adaline.  This was one of my favorite shows of the ones I’ve been personally involved in.  There is something very satisfying about mixing such an intimate setting: just her and her piano.  I think it also serves as a great way to get to know an artist better, which is one of the cool things about The Streaming Cafe; there are often opportunities not only to discover new artists but to discover a different side of an artist.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc9VpI8RIUo


   Operating out of Vancouver, Adaline has drawn influence from a wide selection of music & genres.  When you listen to her repertoire you can hear that each song is fresh, and yet from one song to the next there is a fluency and connectivity.  The influence in her songs may come from many different genres of  music but it is defined by one unique character.  Her music all comes from the same place: passion and experience.   It has a tendency to put you in a specific time and place, creating a visual soundscape where you can get lost in a song.  From the moody ‘Meaningless Meetings’ to the more uptempo ‘Whiter/Straighter’, there is a rich energy within the music that captivates her audience.
   So with that, it’s not surprising that Adaline has been busy this past year: Canadian Music Week, Junofest, Western Canadian Music Awards, Peak Performance Project, and a video in the Much More Music Top 10.  It doesn’t seem like things will be letting up much in the coming year, either; she is set to record a new album, will be appearing at many of the things she was involved in last year, and of course will be touring.  Maybe it’s her catchy songs, her vintage flair, her professional drive, her unique character – or maybe it’s all of these things which make it seem as though Adaline will be adored by an ever-growing audience.
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Confessions of An Independent Artist: Introductions

Confessions of An Independent Artist
Volume 1:  Introductions
Ok, it’s important to know this:  I love subtitles.  I mean, I adore them.  There’s something about this format that is just perfect: 
Title:  Another Title
or even
Title:  Explaining The Title
   
I don’t really know why it attracts me.  You would think that a person probably wouldn’t feel so passionate about subtitles, but hey, we writers are a strange breed.  That’s why I’m happy to be doing a series of blogs for the independent artist.  Because series tend to use a lot of subtitles.
Well, subtitles aren’t the only reason I’m happy to be doing a series for independent musicians.   I’m also excited because I myself am an independent artist, and so are a lot of my colleagues here at The Streaming Cafe.   The music business is quickly becoming  an independent musician’s ball game.  For many artists, it is no longer about private jets, massive recording budgets, & trashing your fancy hotel room.  These days it’s about tightly packed vans, crashing with friends and family, & making your hard earned dollar go as far as possible.  It brings a stronger sense of pride to the scene when the artist is putting everything into their music.  There are more avenues today that the artist can interact with directly to get their music heard.  There are more bands then ever but there are also more people listening then ever.  
Before I get right into, I think I should offer a bit of a disclaimerI’m not claiming to know every in and out of the industry.  I am simply writing out of my own observations and experience.  I write in the spirit of community, I am open to correction & discussion, and I would love to hear from you on this, whether you’ve been in the industry your whole life or are simply interested from a listener’s perspective. 
One of the key things that I seem to be constantly reminded of is the importance of networking.  You’ve probably heard it said ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’.  Sometimes that expression can make a person feel like their music career is actually out of their hands.  It can be daunting when you realize you don’t have a rich uncle who owns Universal or even a wiz-kid audio engineer for a friend.  I think it’s important to realize, this statement shouldn’t be a deterrent but a motivating factor.  Luckily in life, we are blessed with the ability to meet new people.  For some of us this is natural as riding a bike, and for others it is absolutely terrifying.  
In the music industry there are a lot of people you need to know.  You need to know other musicians, promoters, booking agents, venue people, live sound guys, recording guys, music store guys, marketing people, label people, distribution people, and among others; your audience.  You’ve probably discovered that many people will play more then one role.  For example, your might find a guitar player who books and promotes bands at a venue,  or a recording guy who does live sound and works at a music store.  The trick is getting out there to find them. 
If you’ve just moved to a new town or even if you’re just moving through the different stages of life, it can be easy to lose touch with the world of music.  In 2009, I lived in three different provinces, and every time I moved I felt disconnected from the ‘scene’.  I had to get acquainted with what was going on in my new location which can take a little digging.  My instincts tend to lead me to the music stores.  I don’t know if this is the same for all musicians, but I seem to have an uncanny ability to sense when they are near.  I usually discover at least one within the first 24 hours in a new town.  Salesmen love to talk, but they also love to sell you things.  Regardless, it’s always good to get to know your local music store staff.  They usually know what’s going on around town and they can offer insights to gear that you might not have realized.  After my most recent move (to Kelowna) I was lucky enough to get involved with a few great local venues.  Most cities will have a few places where music happens quite regularly.  Whether it’s an open mic, or regular shows, or a completely unique venue where they streaming all of their shows live to the whole world (What?  Not subtle enough for you?),   these are great places to meet artists.  There is an excitement in the air, and artists seem most relaxed and ready to mingle shortly after they’ve finished playing.  This is a great opportunity to strike up a conversation.  So, what to talk about?  
I’ve found that people in the music industry are generally pretty happy to discuss music.  They like to hear what other people are doing and thinking, they also like to talk about what they are doing and thinking.  I’m sure many of you have experienced the sense of community comes along with music; it’s only natural to draw on that.  Be perceptive; if you’ve just watched a musician perform, what was unique about the performance?  What did you notice that they might not hear all the time?  Or, if all else fails, talk about gear.  A good portion of musicians are also gear heads.  We love to talk about the tone of our amps and the punch of our drums.
So, it’s really just about making friends while being a little bit more intentional.  Try not to be a know-it-all and if you are completely star-struck it’s probably all right to show your appreciation.  There may be the odd person who will be a little stand-offish, and remember artists are people and they do have bad days from time to time, so roll with the punches and don’t be discouraged if things don’t go perfect.
Aaron

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Canadian Music Week

I thought I would spend some time highlighting the upcoming Canadian Music Week that runs March 10-14.  There is a HUGE selection of artists at CMW  this year including some of Canada’s biggest mainstream acts and some of our finest indie acts.  There are a bunch of Streaming Cafe artists headed to Toronto next week to perform, including both of this previous weekend’s artists, Laurell & Adaline.  Adaline was even listed on MSN Entertainment’s “performances not to miss”!
One of the cool things about CMW is that they do a lot of artist showcases which allows you to hear an artist in a different setting.  For instance, if you grew up on Our Lady Peace’s Clumsy, as I did, you can actually hear them perform it.  Or if you want to hear Adaline as a solo artist, or supported by a cello, or supported by a full band including horns section, you have the opportunity.  If you are about to be in Toronto during those 5 nights I would definitely recommend it.  It makes me wish Canadian Music Week happened all across Canada and not just in Toronto – because I know where I would be.
Here are a few of the artists I would be checking out if I was out there:
Michou
Moneen
Adaline
Our Lady Peace (performing Clumsy)
The Dillinger Escape Plan
Billy The Kid
I Wrestled A Bear Once
Mary Simon
Jay Sparrow
Powerglove
K-os
We Are The City
Ok, so I would probably have to split myself into a few different copies to catch everything, but seriously: 700 artists in 5 days?  Oh, and if you aren’t a big live music fan, they also have a film festival, conference & an awards show.


– Aaron

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Adaline at Canadian Music Week

I just saw this link

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Catherina Maclellan, Olympic Symphonium & The Great Canadian Song Quest

We’ve got an exciting show coming up on May 8th featuring Catherine Maclellan & Olympic Symphonium.   Catherine Maclellan is the 2009 recipient of the ‘Solo Artist of the Year’ Award for the Folk Music Awards.  She was also selected to perform & write on behalf of Prince Edward Island in the Great Canadian Song Quest.  Catherine shared the stage with several of her indie/folk peers including Joel Plaskett & Jay Sparrow.  CBC’s Great Canadian Song Quest encouraged residents to submit local artists & landmarks that represented their home province or territory.  Artists would be nominated to write a song about a favorite landmark or location in each province.  The result was 13 unique perspectives on 13 unique locations unified by one great country.   
Canada’s music industry may not have the mainstream output that the US does at the moment but there is a sense of loyalty that nurtures many of our favorite artists.  Catherine Maclellan seems to have found a spot at that table; beating out Joel Plaskett for ‘Solo Artist of the Year’.  She has recently joined the ranks at True North Records and is making a name for herself as the newcomer to watch.  True North houses many of the Canadian greats including Bruce Cockburn, Randy Bachman & The Golden Dogs to name a few.   It could just be a matter of time before Catherine Maclellan qualifies as one of the elite in Canadian folk music.
     Joining her will be; Olympic Symphonium.  Olympic Symphonium serves as a softer & gentler avenue for the three accomplished Maritime musicians.  Nick Cobham, Kyle Cunjak & Graeme Walker, all share the workload of singing and songwriting but rotate around various instruments.  It is interesting to hear a trio of musicians, who are usually inclined towards a more upbeat rock drive, exploring the contemplative & gentle side of the music.  It seems they aren’t afraid to use a little time to slow down and find the right voicing in their music.  Since the trio each play a variety of instruments, it enables them to explore the music extensively; to explore the nuances of different instruments and sounds.

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